Mai Khao Beach is the longest beach on Phuket, stretching some 11km’s from north to south. Mai Khao Beach is easily the quietest too, mainly visited by local families. However more recently it has seen several large holiday complexes built there, these holiday resorts are aimed at high end tourism.

Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao Beach Aerial

Mai Khao Beach starts were Nai Yang finishes and runs all the way up to Sai Keow beach, which meets the end of the island. Mai Khao, like I said, is more famous for its large hotel complexes although more recently, the new waterpark which opened up there. Splash Jungle Waterpark at the West Sands resorts was opened at the beginning of 2010, and the area has seen much more growth since.

Apart from the large hotels that perch themselves on the beach, there is very little else apart from old bamboo shacks and fishermen and their long-tail boats. It is a favourite of local’s, especially at the weekend, who pour onto the beach, with their noodles and Som Tam and barbeque skews, and watch the planes roll into the airport at the southern end of the beach.

The Phuket international Airport has recently opened a new terminal, which obviously allows more traffic to fly into it. The runway is very close to the beach and the roar of their engines is exhilarating, the kids love it.

Mai Khao Beach is part of the National Park Trust, like the Similan islands are, and so is protected under government law, so the area is relatively clear of any other buildings. It’s is possible to walk for mile upon mile on golden sands without seeing a single soul, well maybe the odd bird or two.

Every year on Mai Khao Beach around the Songkran festival time, there is a mass baby turtle release program. It’s a wonderful moment, and is supported by the local community and businesses; in fact you can sponsor a turtle yourself and release it.

Now that was a truly magical experience for us last year, when we went there, now my daughter keeps asking almost every week: ‘when can we go again?’

There are washroom room facilitates at the southern end of the beach near the entrance to Nai Yang Beach, there is also a camping area there too. A friend of mine went every weekend, just to get away from the hustle and bustle of Patong, where we   worked together. He would take his girlfriend and their dog and come back Monday morning a new man; even the dog had a smile on its face.

Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao Beach

The sand on the beach may be a little coarse, than it is on say Nai Harn Beach or Karon, but it is well worth the trip up there. The beach, like that at Bang Tao and Surin does dip quite quickly into the sea, so be careful you do not get out of your depth.

Again, there will be flags on the beach letting folk know if it is safe to go in the water. It usually is in high season, just low season, one needs to take more care, as on any beach in Phuket to be fair.

To get to Mai Khao it is easy, just head north and before you get to the Sarasin Bridge you will see several turn offs for it. In fact, you can almost drive onto the beach from certain parts of the road. If you would like to see the planes coming in for landing and taking off, I suggest you go towards the airport and follow the signs past it, till you come to the first turning for the beach, all relatively easy to find.

Most of the places to grab a bite to eat and have a drink or two are located at the southern end of the beach. There are a couple of decent seafood restaurants in the area too. I suggest going to see the area, I doubt it will be built up too much any time soon, but it is great to feel in the open space and get some real fresh air in the lungs from the Phuket breezes.

Next beach north is Sai Keow Beach and south is the Beach at Nai Yang, enjoy as there is so much to see here on Phuket.

Mai Khao Beach visit with Easy Day Phuket Tours

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